Political vigilante groups are now ubiquitous. They are, sad to note, an accepted part our political ecosystem; they are everywhere, flexing their muscles without the least regret and in the process, daring the political establishment, their paymasters to take them on and put a screeching halt to their activities.
But so far, the two major political parties, the ruling NPP and the main opposition party, the NDC, largely responsible for foisting this anachronism on our political system, have only managed a song and a dance, too timid to rein in groups they created to protect their political skin.
After Delta Force a group closely allied with the NPP, reportedly attacked a high ranking party legislator, and an NDC vigilante group allegedly manhandled a journalist and another NDC group, strangely named Al Quaida, stirred up trouble in Tamale, Ghanaians finally had enough of the vigilante nonsense.
They subsequently called on the government to ban all political vigilante groups. Civil society organizations also added their voices to the chorus urging authorities to take swift action.
As expected, the government’s response has been tepid, a deafening silence followed by a complete denial of any ties between the NPP and the thugs of Delta Force. The NPP is seeking to disassociate itself from Delta Force. As for the NDC, it has not said anything relative to its vigilante groups.
Strongly articulating the NPP’s position was Mr. Obiri Boahen, deputy communications director of the party. He falsely claimed that Delta Force was the brain child of NPP sympathizers and not the party itself. This is not only a blatant lie, it is also grossly misleading.
Delta Force and other pro NPP vigilante groups are the creation of the party. Fact is, these groups take their marching orders from the NPP which finances their operations and assists them in a variety of other ways just like the NDC sponsors its vigilante groups.
Need I say, Delta Force and others have been sheltered from justice by the NPP. The NDC did the same thing when it occupied Jubilee House.
We all remember the slap on the wrist Delta Force received after some of its members invaded a Kumasi high court and sent court officials running for dear life. They clearly broke the law, but NPP authorities looked the other way.
There is abundant, irrefutable body of evidence to link these abhorrent groups with the NPP and the NDC and Ghanaians won’t be told otherwise. Who do the major political parties think they are kidding?
In fact, Mr. Boahen’s assertion distorts what Ghanaians know too well about the NPP and the NDC and their close affiliations with vigilante groups ---- they are bedfellows and intricately connected. Period.
What we are witnessing today is a desperate attempt by authorities to deny the existence of hard core vigilante groups that are in some measure responsible for their political success.
Political vigilante groups are a threat to our democratic system. Ghanaians know that and they are sounding the alarm bells. Unfortunately, the only entity that has so far failed to grasp this stark reality is the political establishment. Its abject failure to do right by Ghanaians would crawl back one day to haunt it, to give it hell.